18 November 2023
Representatives of the Russian medical community have written an open letter to Putin, demanding the release of artist Sasha Skochilenko, who was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for replacing price tags in a supermarket with stickers with information about the war in Ukraine.
Those wishing to sign the letter can do so on the Facebook page of Alexander Vanyukov. At the time of publication, approximately 60 doctors had done so.
Spektr reprints the letter in full.
‘According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the president is the guarantor of the rights and freedoms of Russia’s citizens. For disagreement with the war and a pacifist action that did not break the law, artist Sasha Skochilenko was sentenced to seven years in prison.
‘Along with indignation at the obvious injustice of the decision, we, as the medical community, have serious concerns about Sasha’s health. She has been diagnosed with a number of serious chronic illnesses requiring proper medical supervision and a specialized diet. Remaining in prison could lead to a significant worsening of Sasha’s health.
‘Against the background of reports of mass early release of people who have committed serious crimes, such as rape and murder, imprisonment of a person whose act had no criminal elements or victims seems especially unjust. We demand from you, as guarantor of the Constitution, the immediate release of Sasha Skochilenko.’
On November 16th, the Vasileostrovsky District Court of St Petersburg sentenced artist Sasha Skochilenko, who replaced price tags in stores with antiwar inscriptions, to seven years in prison, under the article on ‘fake news’ about the army (Article 207.3, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code).
Skochilenko was arrested in April 2022. She was accused of replacing price tags in the ‘Perekrestok’ store with leaflets with information about the deaths of civilians during the shelling of the Mariupol Drama Theatre.
The artist has pleaded not guilty.
Translated by Alyssa Rider